Sauber were frustrated in qualifying today as both cars failed to get through to Q3 despite their new aero package working well.
Sergio Perez qualifying twelfth and team-mate Kamui Kobayashi had to settle for fourteenth after being thwarted by traffic on his final flying lap.
“On my last lap, when I was on new soft tyres, a Force India was in trouble in front of me, he made a mistake in turn ten and that was it for me,” explained Kobayashi. “It is a shame because our new aero package is working well. We have clearly made progress and the car was definitely good enough for a place in the top ten. However, for the race we should be okay and dealing with the super hard tyres will be tricky for everyone.”
Perez could report no traffic issues on his flying lap, instead blaming tyres for missing out on Q3: “I had no particular problems on my last lap, but it wasn't good,” said the Mexican. “Being 12th isn't too bad and I'm very positive for the race, but my run with the new tyres today didn't work out. This is a shame because I'm happy with the car and this is crucial for tomorrow's race. Compared to this morning, we have made a lot of set up changes and they work.”
Technical Director James Key explained that the team had made good progress with set-up overnight, but said that they were still disappointed with their final places in qualifying today.
“[Qualifying] was a bit frustrating for all of us and not representative of where we want to be,” he said. “Much like the last race, we need to come back a little bit tomorrow and try make something of it in the race. We made some good changes to the car overnight, and Kamui in particular was a lot happier with his car on newer tyres this morning. His pace looked pretty promising for qualifying so we didn't really change the car much for him. For Sergio there was a little bit of work to do to improve his balance a bit, but that was worked on between FP3 and qualifying.
“Unfortunately Sergio was just a bit shy of the top ten, while Kamui ended up being stuck behind a slower car for half a lap, so he unfortunately lost his time and was unable to progress from P14, which was set on old tyres.“